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Frederick II
Roger I
Stupor Mundi
William II of Sicily
Roger II
Constance of Sicily
Emperor Henry VI
Federico II di Svevia
Peter II of Sicily
Arab Norman
William I of Sicily
Cattedrale di Sant'Agata
King of Sicily
Friedrich II
Catania Cathedral

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Catania - Cattedrale di Sant'Agata

Catania - Cattedrale di Sant'Agata
Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, has a long history, that starts around 8000 BC, but later there were Phoenician, Carthaginian, Greek and Roman periods. After the Roman Empire had fallen apart the Vandals tried to take over the island but failed. Finally, the Ostrogoths took possession.

Mid of the 6th century Sicily was conquered by troops of the Byzantine Empire. After the advent of Islam, Sicily got attacked by the Arab forces. Raids seeking loot continued until the mid-8th century.

A Muslim army was sent to the island in 827 but met with much resistance. So it took a century to conquer it and even later revolts constantly occurred

In 1038 the Byzantines invaded the island supported by Norman mercenaries, led by Roger. In 1072, after the siege of Palermo, most of Sicily was under Norman control. Roger´s son Roger II raised the status +of the island to a kingdom in 1130. During this period, the Kingdom of Sicily was prosperous and powerful,

The court of Roger II became melting out of culture from Europe and the Middle East. This attracted scholars, scientists, artists, and artisans. Muslims, Jews, Greeks, Lombards, and Normans cooperated and created some extraordinary buildings.

In 1186 the last descendant of Roger, Constance of Sicily married Emperor Henry VI, the second son of Barbarossa. So the crown of Sicily was passed on to the Hohenstaufen Dynasty. Frederick II, the only son of Constance, was crowned King of Sicily at the age of four in 1198. He became "Stupor Mundi", one of the greatest and most cultured men of the Middle Ages.

The Catania Cathedral was originally constructed in 1078-1093 by order of Roger I, on the ruins of the ancient Roman Achillean Baths. Roger had just conquered the city from the Islamic emirate of Sicily.

The building has been destroyed and rebuilt several times because of earthquakes and eruptions of the nearby Mount Etna.

Already in 1169 it was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake, further damage was caused by a fire in the same year. The most catastrophic event was the 1693 earthquake, which again left it mostly in ruins. It was subsequently rebuilt in Baroque style. From the distance the cathedral´s large dome, completed in 1802, is visible.

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